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Howard Defends 'Angels & Demons' Against Catholic Outrage

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Apr 22, 2009 | 4:25am EDT

Filmmaker Ron Howard has reached out to the Catholic Church before the release of his controversial movie Angels & Demons -- insisting even the most devout believers will enjoy the film.

Angels & Demons is the prequel to 2006's The Da Vinci Code, which came under fire from Catholic leaders who claimed the movie attacked the core beliefs of the Christian faith.

The Vatican went on to show their distaste for the Tom Hanks project, an adaptation of Dan Brown's novel, by refusing permission for the follow-up to be shot in Rome's churches last year.

And in March, church officials hinted that they would approve a boycott of the forthcoming blockbuster -- stating in the Vatican's official newspaper that religious leaders "cannot approve" the movie.

But Howard has jumped to his work's defense, stating that the Church should see the film for what it is -- an "exciting mystery" -- and not as a smear against Catholicism.

He writes in a blog for The Huffington Post, "Let me be clear: Neither I nor Angels & Demons are anti-Catholic. And let me be a little controversial: I believe Catholics, including most in the hierarchy of the Church, will enjoy the movie for what it is: an exciting mystery, set in the awe-inspiring beauty of Rome."

The movie is slated for a May global release.

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